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Old 05-31-2001, 11:45 PM   #1
Toto
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Post The case for dating the Book of Acts to the mid-second century

Since this issue appears to be a major point of contention, I will lay out here some arguments for a post-150 C.E. date for Acts. I have taken most of this from Dohertyís web site and book, and from a few other sources. I have not talked to Doherty about this and cannot represent his views, and this may not be complete.

Internal evidence from Luke
It seems to be universally held that the same person made the final redaction of Luke and wrote Acts. Doherty holds (along with others) that there was an earlier version of Luke, which was substantially rewritten or redacted in the second century by the same person who wrote Acts.

The Gospel of Luke starts by saying that "many writers have undertaken to draw up an account of the events that have happened among us, following the traditions handed down to us by the original eyewitnesses and servants of the Gospel." Luke demonstrably uses only Mark and Q as major sources. But Luke seems to be aware of a mass of material, and his (or her, according to Randal Helms) comment about "traditions handed down" implies the passage of time needed to produce that amount of oral and written tradition. This description best fits the second century, when many Gospels were in circulation.

In addition, Luke evidences a view of the church that is typical of the mid second century more than the first.

Competing Silences

Doherty argues that Acts is not mentioned in any form in any early Christian writing until a possible reference around 150 C.E. by Justin Martyr, and a more definite reference in the 170ís. He argues that it is inconceivable that a work like Acts would not be referenced if it existed.

From his website:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Eusebius quotes Papias as speaking of collections of sayings and anecdotes attributed to a Jesus, allegedly compiled by "Mark" and "Matthew," but there is no mention by Eusebius of Papias speaking of any document that could be identified with the Acts of the Apostles. Here again, especially in regard to a writer who was said to have stressed his connections with and knowledge of the apostolic age and its figures (some of whom were allegedly followers of Jesus), Papias' apparent ignorance (c.130) of such a document belies any claim that it could have been written and in circulation from 50 to 80 years earlier.</font>
He has also argued that a date around 62 C.E. is improbable, because if the author of Luke were alive at the same time as Paul, he surely would have interviewed Paul in person, and there would not be such a discrepancy between the events in Acts and Paulís letters. (more on that later)

In addition, he argues that
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Another consideration put forward, for example by John Knox (Marcion and the New Testament, p.120f), relates to Marcion's attested use of an early form of the Gospel of Luke, sometime in the 140s. Marcion was a gnostic who was adamant that Christianity should not be linked in any way with its Jewish antecedent or with the Jewish God. Had Acts been written and attached as a companion piece to the Gospel of Luke by this time, Marcion would not have been likely to adopt Luke at all, since Acts is clearly a 'catholicizing' piece of writing, with one of its principal theological positions being that the Christian movement was an outgrowth of Judaism and the inheritor of the Jewish God's promises.
</font>
Layman has made a different argument from silence. He says that if Acts were written as late as 150, it would reference Paulís letters, since a collection of his letters had been circulating since the beginning of the second century. Dohertyís argument against this relies on the (out of print) work of John Knox, Marcion and the New Testament, described here in Paul and the Mission to the Gentiles by Graham Lester

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> John Knox has suggested that Luke knew the letters but chose not to use them, or at least to only make minimal use of them, owing to their polemical content. In Knox's view, Acts was written around 125 in order to counter the use of Paul's epistles by Marcionite or pre-Marcionite heretics. According to Knox, Marcion's canon consisted of an earlier version of Luke plus Pauline letters, and the final redactor of Luke-Acts produced, in opposition, a modified version of Luke plus the book of Acts in which a portrait of Paul more consistent with church tradition was promulgated. </font>
The Political Context of Acts

The argument accepted by Doherty and others is that Acts was written in response to Marcion, to counter his gnostic heresies.

From The evolution of the Pauline Canon by Robert M. Price, which is available on the Journal of Higher Criticism site:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">To make a long story short, Knox argues persuasively, along many lines, that Luke-Acts was a second-century Catholic response to Marcion's Sputnik, the Apostolicon. Canonical Luke was a catholicizing expansion of the same Ur-Lukas Marcion had slightly abbreviated, while Acts was a sanitized substitute for Marcion's Pauline Corpus. Thus it presents a Paul who, though glorified, is co-opted, made the merest Narcissus-reflection of the Twelve--and who writes no epistles, but only delivers an epistle from the Jerusalem apostles! Knox sees the restoration of the Pauline letters (domesticated by the "dangerous supplement" of the Pastorals) and the addition of three other gospels and several non-Pauline epistles, in short the whole formation of the New Testament canon, as a response to the challenge of Marcion and the Marcionite church.
</font>
Layman has argued against this that there is material in Paulís epistles that could be used to support the anti-gnostic cause, and this would have been cited by any good defense attorney. It is not clear that the author of Luke-Acts thought that way, but there may be more to this.

The many discrepancies between Acts and the letters of Paul show that Acts is not reliable history

From Graham Lester, above:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> In the nineteenth century, the Tubingen school of Ferdinand Christian Baur first advocated the theory that part of the purpose of Acts was to "neutralize" the radical content of Paul's letters. Samuel Sandmel claimed that there were six key areas of contradiction between the depiction of Paul in Acts and what the apostle had written in his own letters: 1) several passages in Acts that described Saul persecuting the church in Jerusalem seemed to contradict Paul's own assertion in Galatians (Gal. 1.22) that he was not known by sight to the churches there; 2) Acts portrayed Paul as being more respectful of the ritual law than readers of his letters would suppose; 3) Acts disagreed with Romans about the success of the new faith's outreach to Jews; 4) Luke had Paul receive the holy spirit through the laying on of hands, but the apostle himself simply claimed to be ordained by God; 5) Paul's preaching in Acts was essentially in line with that of the other apostles, but he actually claimed in the epistles to be preaching a unique gospel; and 6) there were "glaring discrepancies" between the accounts in Acts 15 and Galatians 2 regarding the responsibility for the mission to the gentiles.

There were other disagreements between Acts and Paul. For instance, the description of Paul's visit to Thessalonica given in Acts (Acts 17.6-7, 10) contradicted the apostle's own statements in 1 Thessalonians (1 Thess. 1.9; 2.9). Paul told the Corinthians that he had made a dramatic escape from the Nabatean Arab forces of King Aretas IV (2 Cor. 11.32-33), but Luke claimed that he had been fleeing from the Jews instead (Acts 9.23-25). The preaching of Luke's Paul made no reference to the apostle's favorite themes, including the antithesis between grace and works, Christ's preexistence, the believer's participation through baptism in Jesus' death and resurrection, and the mystical body of Christ. After surveying scholarly attempts to establish a chronology of Paul's life, Robert Jewett wrote that "every conceivable experiment has been tried, repeatedly," to reconcile the Acts account with Paul's own statements. He concluded that it was futile to try to harmonize them and that priority had to be given to Paul's own words.
</font>

[This message has been edited by Toto (edited June 01, 2001).]
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Old 06-01-2001, 07:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> It seems to be universally held that the same person made the final redaction of Luke and wrote Acts. Doherty holds (along with others) that there was an earlier version of Luke, which was substantially rewritten or redacted in the second century by the same person who wrote Acts. </font>
I find this paragraph extremely misleading. What is almost universally held is that Luke and Acts had the same author, not the that Acts was written by the person who was the "final redactor" of Luke. Please list for me those scholars which you are aware of that indicate that it is universally held that the final redactor of Luke was the full author of Acts.

But Toto, the rest of your post is worthy of a response and I hope to be able to respond more fully by Monday. Thank you for setting forth your thoughts.
 
Old 06-01-2001, 08:13 AM   #3
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Toto

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In addition, Luke evidences a view of the church that is typical of the mid second century more than the first.</font>
This is an intriguing point. Perhaps you could elaborate?


Layman

You seize on a trivial semantic point and think it a substantive refutation. Certainly the author of an work not substantively edited is indeed the "final redactor" of that work.

I am no textual scholar and the issue is probably trivial, but evidence seems to exist that Luke was indeed edited: Toto points out one instance: Marcion's use of a Gospel of Luke, indicating some version of this gospel existed prior to Acts. In which case it is certainly not "universally held" that the original author of Luke is also the original author of Acts.

Still Toto is indeed making a claim here and provides evidence to support it. Perhaps he overspoke. To refute his claim of "universal regard", you need to demonstrate an actual historical (not theological) controversy over the claim that Acts was or was not written by the original author of Luke.

However you cite only your own anonymous opinion. By "universal support", Toto is (presumably) referring to universal support among qualified scholars. Toto does not seem to appeal to authority here, it seems he is merely attempting to compress his argument by referring to evaluations considered obvious or well-supported in the literature. Certainly if his opinion is incorrect, you can offer a substantive refutation.

[This message has been edited by SingleDad (edited June 01, 2001).]
 
Old 06-01-2001, 08:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SingleDad:

You seize on a trivial semantic point and think it a substantive refutation. Certainly the author of an work not substantively edited is indeed the "final redactor" of that work. </font>
Unilaterally claiming that one's position is "universally" held is hardly a trivil point.

But, you certainly do not know that I think my question about the "universally held" statement is a "substantive refutation" because I hold no such opinion. As I explicitly stated in my post, Toto has raised some interesting questions which I hope to research this weekend and respond to substantively on Monday.

I wanted to begin by clarifying his view of the state of scholarly studies on the issue, but I was clear that my substantive response was to come.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I am no textual scholar and the issue is probably trivial, but evidence seems to exist that Luke was indeed edited: Toto points out one instance: Marcion's use of a Gospel of Luke, indicating some version of this gospel existed prior to Acts. In which case it is certainly not "universally held" that the original author of Luke is also the original author of Acts. </font>
Does. Not. Compute.

What are you saying? Because Marcion hacked up Luke's gospel that this affects whether or not scholars today see Luke and Acts as having the same author? Our version of Luke is not the hacked up editing job done by Marcion. So Marcion's editing is irrelevant. And I doubt (I hope) that Toto was not suggesting that our version of Luke is really Marcion's edited version.

I didn't deny that others have edited Luke, I disputed his statement that scholars universally accepted that the final redactor of Luke (proto-Luke theory?, as opposed to the author?) was the author of Acts.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Still Toto is indeed making a claim here and provides evidence to support it. Perhaps he overspoke. To refute his claim of "universal regard", you need to demonstrate an actual historical (not theological) controversy over the claim that Acts was or was not written by the original author of Luke. </font>
Does. Not. Compute.

He claimed all scholars thought that the final editor of Luke was the author of Acts. That has not been my impression, so I want to clarify. He almost seems to be putting forth some sort of proto-Luke hypothesis, but such a hypothethesis is certainly not universally held. Indeed, I do not believe it has ever gained a strong minority following.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> However you cite only your own anonymous opinion. By "universal support", Toto is (presumably) referring to universal support among qualified scholars. Toto does not seem to appeal to authority here, it seems he is merely attempting to compress his argument by referring to evaluations considered obvious or well-supported in the literature. Certainly if his opinion is incorrect, you can offer a substantive refutation. </font>
SD, my opinion is, by definition, not anonymous. It's mine. Or are you going to start demanding that all of us "apologists" provide our full names, addresses and telephone numbers?

Toto refers to all "qualified scholars" (but of course he doesn't because he doesnt mention any of them), but he is not making an appeal to authority? But when I say, no, that scholars believe something different, I am making an inappropriate appeal to authority.

Thank you for a textbook example of how to attempt to justify a double standard.

There is a kernal of truth to what you are saying, although you are highly prejudiced/biased in your application. It is silly to claim that something is "universally" held. There may be a consensus. There may be a strong majority. Something may have widespread support. But very few scholarly conclusions are "universally" held.

For example, Markan priority and Q have widespread academic support, a very strong majority, but there are a few scholars who reject it. So it is not "universally" held.

[This message has been edited by Layman (edited June 01, 2001).]
 
Old 06-01-2001, 09:43 AM   #5
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I apologize to Toto for hijacking this thread to a certain extent to confront Layman for poisoning the well. However, it seems impossible to have an evidentiary discussion with someone as paranoid as Layman appears to be, so perhaps my comments will have some value.

Also note that this post is not an ad hominem fallacy: I do not imply that Layman's technical flaws are directly relevant to Toto's substantive case. I just wish to make a note of those flaws for the education of our readership.


Layman

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">But, you certainly do not know that I think my question about the "universally held" statement is a "substantive refutation"</font>
You did not ask a question about Toto's claim, you asserted a contrary opinion. However your opinion was not substantive: It did not contain any substantive evidence. When Toto claims "universal acceptance" of a point, he does not mean than even I agree with it. My opinion is irrelevant to the claim of universal acceptance, because I am not a qualified scholar. Likewise the fact that you anonymous disagreement with Toto's claim is likewise irrelevant.

I am not a historian. You will notice on this forum that I rarely offer an opinion on the matters at hand. Rather, I object to the intellectual laziness and fallacious argumentation of some of the participants, yourself included.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As I explicitly stated in my post, Toto has raised some interesting questions which I hope to research this weekend and respond to substantively on Monday.</font>
Fine then, I will evaluate those objections when I hear them.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I wanted to begin by clarifying his view of the state of scholarly studies on the issue, but I was clear that my substantive response was to come.</font>
Your unsubstantiated view is of no interest.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Does. Not. Compute.

What are you saying? Because Marcion hacked up Luke's gospel that this affects whether or not scholars today see Luke and Acts as having the same author? </font>
No, that's what Toto is saying. He's offering a piece of evidence. Is that evidence conclusive? &lt;shrugs&gt; That's not the point. I'm saying Toto makes a claim and offers evidence. You make a rebuttal but without evidentiary substance.

It is my understanding that historians of the ancient world generally draw large inferences from scanty evidence. And you'll notice that I myself have not drawn a conclusion. I will repeat myself: I merely note that Toto has made an assertion and offered evidence to support it. You have made a rebuttal without substantive evidence.

Calling me illogical or biased does not add evidence to your position.

Oh, and I'm not biased. I have no idea when Acts was written, and I don't particularly care. There is no dating of Acts that would convince me of its divine origin. I really have no vested interest in whether it was written in 60 or 160 CE. I'm curious to know, though.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I didn't deny that others have edited Luke, I disputed his statement that scholars universally accepted that the final redactor of Luke (proto-Luke theory?, as opposed to the author?) was the author of Acts.</font>
So what? I don't care what you personally do or do not believe. In a discussion such as this, if you don't have evidence (or you can't actually impeach the evidence of your opponent, then your mere assertion is useless.

If you want to establish a position awaiting the accumulation of evidence, you indicate your disagreement, you don't insult your opponents honesty and character. Had you not been intent on poisoning the well, you might have said something like

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I believe Toto is in error: I disagree that scholars "universally hold" that the final redactor of Luke is the original author of Acts. Time presses, and I will offer the evidence ASAP that there is substantive scholarly support for the alternative position that the original author of Luke is the original author of Acts, even though Luke and Acts may have been both subsequently edited. Thus Toto's assertion of universal support is unwarranted.</font>
Such a response would have been respectful. Although lacking substance, you have promised to provide it when time permits, and in the meantime you have not called your opponent "misleading" and implying it is established that Toto is just talking out of his ass.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">He claimed all scholars thought that the final editor of Luke was the author of Acts. That has not been my impression, so I want to clarify.</font>
You don't want to "clarify", it is evident from your first response that you want to attack. There is not a single question in your response. People who wish to "clarify" actually ask questions.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Toto refers to all "qualified scholars" (but of course he doesn't because he doesnt mention any of them), but he is not making an appeal to authority? But when I say, no, that scholars believe something different, I am making an inappropriate appeal to authority.</font>
When I say, "X is true because all qualified scholars agree it's true" I am making an argument from authority. When I say, "We can start by assuming X; all the qualified scholars believe so" one is abbreviating his argument. Both forms admit to a trivial refutation: "qualified scholar X does not agree". Both forms admit to a substantive refutation: "all qualified scholars are wrong because of this evidence".

Toto is was not using authority to establish his point about Luke, he was using authority he (apparently incorrectly assumed) everyone agreed was already correct so as not to unnecessarily recapitulate an argument he (apparently incorrectly) assumed was settled.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Thank you for a textbook example of how to attempt to justify a double standard.</font>
What double standard? I never claimed you were making an argument from authority either; I was saying you were making an assertion without evidence. Had you cited a single actual scholar, your objection would have been formally valid; had you cited an evidence that the assertion was wrong, your objection would have been substantively valid.

But you seem completely unable to deal with the smallest criticism; Thank you for the textbook examples of poisoning the well in your replies to Toto and myself.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">There is a kernal of truth to what you are saying, although you are highly prejudiced/biased in your application. It is silly to claim that something is "universally" held. There may be a consensus.</font>
And you contradict yourself. You admit here you are making a trivial semantic quibble. Again, the respectful form of this objection is to say, "It is perhaps more precise to say there is a widespread consensus that the final redactor of Luke is the author of Acts," rather than accuse your opponent of being "extremely misleading" and making a shrill demand for evidence, as if the position were as ludicrous as the claim that it is universal held that Jesus was a 4'2" gay hunchback foot fetishist.

[This message has been edited by SingleDad (edited June 01, 2001).]
 
Old 06-01-2001, 10:07 AM   #6
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Argh (or should it be Arf?) I should have been more clear.

I was trying to make a fairly concise summary of the case for a late date of Acts, and I could have worded that sentence more carefully. I meant only that the connection between Luke and Acts does seem to be universally held. If Layman wants to argue that both had earlier versions written by the same author (and/or final versions by the same redactor?) I would be interested to hear that.

I cannot assume that all scholars agree on a final redaction of Luke, because I have not read that extensively.
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Old 06-01-2001, 10:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SingleDad:
[B]I apologize to Toto for hijacking this thread to a certain extent to confront Layman for poisoning the well. However, it seems impossible to have an evidentiary discussion with someone as paranoid as Layman appears to be, so perhaps my comments will have some value. </font>
How does my thread indicate paranoia? Toto made an assertion: All scholars everywhere agree with him that Luke's final redactor (by implication not the author), was the author of Acts. From my reading on the subject, this is far from the truth.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Also note that this post is not an ad hominem fallacy: I do not imply that Layman's technical flaws are directly relevant to Toto's substantive case. I just wish to make a note of those flaws for the education of our readership. </font>
I have made no "technical" flaws. And where are the "technical" rules posted anyway?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> And you contradict yourself. You admit here you are making a trivial semantic quibble. Again, the respectful form of this objection is to say, "It is perhaps more precise to say there is a widespread consensus that the final redactor of Luke is the author of Acts," rather than accuse your opponent of being "extremely misleading" and making a shrill demand for evidence, as if the position were as ludicrous as the claim that it is universal held that Jesus was a 4'2" gay hunchback foot fetishist. </font>
How do I contradict myself? I nowhere said this was a trivial semantic quibble. I said that I intend to offer my substantive response later. But he begins his post by claiming that all scholars agree with him that Luke's author (as opposed to the final redactor) was not the same as Act's author. This an important point. If Luke and Acts had different authors, then it is possible to date Acts much later than Luke. If they had the same author, then it is much more likely that they were written within a short time of each other. He began by asserting that all scholars agree with him on the former.

Does this destroy his case? No, a substantive response is due regarding his substantive points.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You did not ask a question about Toto's claim, you asserted a contrary opinion. </font>
Wrong. I asked Toto to please list the scholars which support his viewpoint. Although he claimed that all scholars agree with him, he provided no support for that statement.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> However your opinion was not substantive: It did not contain any substantive evidence. When Toto claims "universal acceptance" of a point, he does not mean than even I agree with it. My opinion is irrelevant to the claim of universal acceptance, because I am not a qualified scholar. Likewise the fact that you anonymous disagreement with Toto's claim is likewise irrelevant. </font>
I nowhere claimed that it was not universally accepted because "I" disagree with it. It is not universally accepted because I have read many scholars who disagree with it. My opinion was based on my reading of academics in the field of New Testament scholarship. From that reading I know that Toto's claim is not universally accepted.

What is biased, and clear to everyone but you, is that you are claiming that my point is irrelevant because I fail to provide substantive evidence, but that Toto's is a fair way to start a discussion by assuming half of his argument.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I am not a historian. You will notice on this forum that I rarely offer an opinion on the matters at hand. Rather, I object to the intellectual laziness and fallacious argumentation of some of the participants, yourself included. </font>
While I'm sure I have made deficient arguments on this forum, challenging Toto's characterization of universally agreement with a fundamental point at issue is not lazy, fallacious, or in any way unfair. It is a fair question. One which skeptics have been hammering away at regarding the consensus against Doherty's theory. At least we have stepped forward with many references and quotes from the scholars who do disagree with Doherty.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Calling me illogical or biased does not add evidence to your position. </font>
No, but it demonstrates that your claim that I am somehow being unfair or arguing inappropriately has no merit.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Oh, and I'm not biased. I have no idea when Acts was written, and I don't particularly care. There is no dating of Acts that would convince me of its divine origin. I really have no vested interest in whether it was written in 60 or 160 CE. I'm curious to know, though. </font>
The fact that you think Toto's assertion that all scholars agree with him is appropriate "compression" of the arguement while my challenge to that assertion is somehow "poisoning the well" is ample evidence of your bias.

And I find your first statement in some tension with your last.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> So what? I don't care what you personally do or do not believe. In discussion such as this, if you don't have evidence (or you can't actually impeach the evidence of your opponent, then your mere assertion is useless. </font>
So explain to me again why Toto's assertion that all scholars agree with him regarding Lukan authorship is useful, but my challenge to that assertion is useless.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> If you want to establish a position awaiting the accumulation of evidence, you indicate your disagreement, you don't insult your opponents honesty and character. Had you not been intent on poisoning the well, you might have said something like &lt;snip&gt; </font>
I did not question Toto's honesty or character, I said that his opening assertion was misleading and asked him to list those scholars that agreed with it. As for how you would have handled it, I couldn't care less. As you have said, you don't know much about history or textual criticism.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Such a response would have been respectful. Although lacking substance, you have promised to provide it when time permits, and in the meantime you have not called your opponent "misleading" and implying it is established that Toto is just talking out of his ass. </font>
I did not say that Toto was being intentionally misleading. I said that the first statement was very misleading. Big difference. And I made no statements about where Toto was talking from. I suspect he misunderstands the state of scholarship and that if he did look into it to find support for his assertion he would find none.

I also am confused as to whether he is adopting a proto-Luke hypothesis, which I have at least heard of.

He can clarify as he wants.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You don't want to "clarify", it is evident from your first response that you want to attack. There is not a single question in your response. People who wish to "clarify" actually ask questions. </font>
I did ask him to list those scholars who agree with him.

Yes, I am an aggressive debater. But I could care less what you think of my style, unless you are speaking in your role of Moderator. Are you?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> When I say, "X is true because all qualified scholars agree it's true" I am making an argument from authority. When I say, "We can start by assuming X; all the qualified scholars believe so" one is abbreviating his argument. Both forms admit to a trivial refutation: "qualified scholar X does not agree". Both forms admit to a substantive refutation: "all qualified scholars are wrong because of this evidence".

Toto is was not using authority to establish his point about Luke, he as using authority he (apparently incorrectly assumed) everyone
agreed was already correct so as not to unnecessarily recapitulate an argument he (apparently incorrectly) assumed was settled. </font>
I agree with you that Toto has no authority to establish his point about the authorship of Luke/Acts. That was the problem. I knew such was not the state of scholarship so I called him on it. Your complaint seems to be that you don't like the way I called him on it. Too bad. Given your admitted lack of interest in when Acts is dated, and your admitted ignorance about history and textual criticism, I really don't care what you think about my style. Unless you are speaking as a Moderator of course. Are you?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> What double standard? I never claimed you were making an argument from authority either; I was saying you were making an assertion without evidence. Had you cited a single actual scholar, your objection would have been formally valid; had you cited an evidence that the assertion was wrong, your objection would have been substantively
valid. </font>
My statement was just as supported as his was. Are you saying that anyone can begin any argument by saying, everyone agrees X, and he is not required to defend it? It is only considered refuted when the other side conclusively proves it wrong? That is just silly.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> But you seem completely unable to deal with the smallest criticism; Thank you for the textbook examples of poisoning the well in your replies to Toto and myself. </font>
I did not poison the well. I challenged his opening statement that all scholars agreed with him on the authorship/redacting of Luke, admitted that he raised some interesting questions that required a substantive response, said I would research it and respond thereafter. How is that poisoning the well?

A much better definition of poisoning the well would be starting the discussion by claiming that all scholars agree with you. Especially where that assertion is clearly wrong. I know that John Drane, F.F. Bruce, N.T. Wright, Ben Witherington, and J.P. Meier disagree with his supposedly "universal" claim. And that is just off the top of my head.

You sure have wasted a lot of our time here SD. Now I know you don't like how I challenge unsupported assertions of universal agreement. But then I really don't care how you think I should challenge it, because you have clearly distorted what I did and have blown it out of any sense of proportion.

Toto said all scholars agree that X and then provided several reasons for dating Acts into the mid-second century.

I say that his opening line is misleading because scholars don't universally say that Luke's editor (not author) was the author of Acts. I then promise to get back to him on his substantive points. I even thanked him for raising them.


 
Old 06-01-2001, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Toto:
Argh (or should it be Arf?) I should have been more clear.

I was trying to make a fairly concise summary of the case for a late date of Acts, and I could have worded that sentence more carefully. I meant only that the connection between Luke and Acts does seem to be universally held. If Layman wants to argue that both had earlier versions written by the same author (and/or final versions by the same redactor?) I would be interested to hear that.

I cannot assume that all scholars agree on a final redaction of Luke, because I have not read that extensively.
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I agree that there is widespread consensus on the connection between Luke and Acts.

Thank you for your clarification. I hope to respond more substantively by Monday.
 
Old 06-01-2001, 03:30 PM   #9
Toto
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To expand on some points:

1. The silence of Acts regarding Paul's letters:

Doherty argues that if the author of Acts knew anything or Paul, he must have known that he wrote letters, therefore a silence in regard to his letters must have been deliberate. If Luke-Acts were written or edited mid-second century, the most likely reason for the silence is that Marcion had appropriated the letters.

Doherty speculates that the orthodox church's own "sanitized" version of Paul's letters had not been completed when Acts was written, so there was no safe copy to quote from.

2. On the "primitive" quality of Acts:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Scholars have long noted that Acts contains a markedly primitive view of Christian theology. Like the Gospel of Luke, it has no explicitly redemptive interpretation of the death of Jesus. (In Luke, only if one appeals to the longer version of Jesus' eucharistic words found in some manuscripts - probably later accretions under the influence of other Gospels - is anything to be found on the subject of soteriology.) Paradoxically, this 'primitive' quality in both Acts and Luke fits not the mid or late first century, when the Pauline type of cultic Christ was still the predominant expression of Christianity. Rather, it fits the mid-second century, when the new Gospel picture of Mark's virtually human Jesus (see Note 80) had eclipsed the Pauline cosmic Son of God and redemptive Christ. Rather than the Christ of Luke-Acts being "pre-Pauline," as itis sometimes styled, it is post-Pauline, when the Q-like Jesus of the Synoptics had supplanted the spiritual Christ of the cult movement.</font>
Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, p. 271

note 80 is a discourse on the human, scarcely divine character of Mark's Jesus. Other footnotes omitted (because they're too hard to type).

This particular point does not prove that Jesus is a myth. Many who believe in the historical Jesus, and/or who are practicing Christians, seem to accept this dating, and all of the politics of the early church that explain it. But it does weaken the idea that there is historical evidence for Jesus.
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Old 06-01-2001, 03:43 PM   #10
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Good opening post, Toto, and I hope Layman can come up with something to chew on. I am looking forward to reading it.

Michael
 
 

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